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  • Writer's pictureAmy Donnon

NOLA Ain't Just for Party Animals, It's Great for Family Animals Too!

New Orleans: Family-Style Fun

Now, it’s only fair to start this post with the admission that we discuss things as openly as necessary with our kiddos. Because while NOLA has a plethora of things to entertain and educate the whole family, it also has many opportunities for learning about some of life’s seedier issues.

Be ready to explain things like:

1) why that man is getting arrested for being drunk in public at 9 AM

2) why guys keep asking to clean your tennis shoes with hand sanitizer

3) why there are naked women painted to look like they are wearing a costume

4)why you should tip street performers

And my favorite…

5) why there are boob and penis shaped things in all the stores

Despite these awkward conversations, we had a deeply memorable trip. It has been almost three years since we explored the city of New Orleans and the boys remember many things with full clarity.

· The Mardi Gras Museum was a big hit for all of us. The grandeur of the floats in their size, color, and detail was mesmerizing to the kids and has changed our appreciation for the parade and dedicated krewes that plan, design, build, and manage these floats.

· French Quarter Kids Tours was, hands down, the best thing we did in NOLA! No lie, I learned more on this two-hour walking tour than I did in all my years of formal education. The comedy in presentation was both historically true and hysterical! The theatrics, props, and costumes brought history to life and impressed those stories on us in a way we haven’t forgotten. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE!

· Beignets are something that must be eaten! Yes, there are tons of food-musts for NOLA, but when with the kiddos, the beignets top the food list! My celiac kiddo is lucky enough that he can take a GlutenEase pill and experience fewer and more milder symptoms if he were to eat gluten. Not many foods are worth it to him. But he was hellbent on tasting a beignet and was so happy to have done it! (Well, he did it twice, but who’s counting?!)

· Listening to Jazz Bands, especially the ones you find on the side-streets, is a super fun way to chill after all the walking. Pro-tip 1: Get your candied nuts or ice cream BEFORE you find a prime spot to listen to the music (so dad doesn’t miss the first few songs seeking a snack for the tired crew). Pro-tip 2: Take a towel in your bag to set on the curb so you have a clean seat for everyone.

· Listen to “Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons” on audible before your trip. This is a family-friendly mystery story that incorporates many aspects of NOLA history, culture, and geography.

· Steamboat Natchez was something we missed out on but sure wish we hadn’t. I can’t speak to whether or not the lunch on board is worth it or not, but to have a table and chairs with a view seems hard to pass on. This excursion is still on my bucket list.


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